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Social eCommerce – How to Use Social Media to Drive Sales

So, you have an online selling site and your own ecommerce business where you want to drive buyers and increase your sales. Or maybe you’re a social media manager for an ecommerce business and your job is to drive more sales via social media marketing?

By Ana Simova, content writer at Ranking Press

    Whether you’re a beginner in selling online by using social media or not, one thing is certain – you want to promote your (social) eCommerce business and sell your products.

    Since more and more people are shopping online rather than going to physical stores nowadays, you want to be where your customers are and we’re here to tell you how to do just that! Social eCommerce, otherwise known as social shopping, has been continuously growing in the past few years which is why you should know how to effectively use social media to drive sales.

    We’ll give you the best and most effective tips and tactics for driving sales via social media and give you some examples of the most successful social media eCommerce campaigns.

    Before we get into all that, let’s briefly see why social media is so important for eCommerce.

    Why is Social Media Important for eCommerce

    While search engine traffic was once essential for eCommerce growth, social media has now taken over. Social commerce, a term that has been used for around 14 years, has become such a strong division of traditional eCommerce that eCommerce stores with social media presence have up to 32% more sales that eCommerce stores that are not on any social media network.

    Facebook and Instagram are definitely the two networks that will bring you the most sales, the former being the leader given that up to 85% of all orders done on social media are made on Facebook.

    Still not convinced that social media can increase your sales? Let’s give you a few more statistics.

    • There are around 1.5 billion people who are active on social media every single day.
    • 23% of online shoppers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a social media recommendation for it.
    • 30% of online shoppers are willing to buy a product on a social media network like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.
    • Half a billion businesses advertise their brand on Instagram.

    Now that you’re aware of social media’s importance for your eCommerce store, let’s get down to business and tell you how to use social media to drive sales.

    How to Use Social Media to Drive Sales

    After a long and extensive research, here are the best and most effective ways in which you can use social media to increase your sales.

    Know Your Customers and Be Where They Are

    The better you know your customers, the more products you’ll sell – it’s as simple as that. Why? Well, if you know what your audience likes and dislikes, you’ll get your message across more effectively and better connect with your current and potential customers. If you know what social media networks they mostly use, you’ll know where to promote and sell your products.

    This knowledge will help you to generate new leads and make successful conversions, so familiarize yourself with your target market’s demographics, psychographics, buying history, and online presence. It’s crucial that you determine which social network is mostly used by your target audience and create a page or profile for your business to find and connect with your customer base and start from there.

    Use Influencers

    Did you know that on average, for every $1 businesses spend on influencer marketing they earn $7.65 back? So why not utilize this incredible statistics for your business as well? After all, influencers are on literally every major social network nowadays, and can help you promote a new or bestselling product and familiarize more social media users with your brand.

    Want to know more about influencer marketing and how to find the right influencers for your business? Check out our three articles on influencer marketing.

    Use Social Proof

    One of the best ways to increase your conversions, help your customers decide to buy your products, and justify their buying decisions is to use social proof in your marketing strategy. There are many different ways in which you can use social proof to your benefit, user social proof and the wisdom of the crowd being two effective ways where your customers can help out. You can ask them for testimonials, stories, product reviews, and so on and maybe offer samples in return.

    Check out Using Social Proof to Boost Your Marketing to learn more.

    Create Engaging Content to Give Value and Sell

    Engaging your audience on social media is one of the most important things you can do to promote your social eCommerce business and drive sales in return. In order to do this, you must first really know your audience and then give them valuable content they’ll be interested in. Depending on your brand, you can include humor in your content, lots of visuals, interesting facts and stories about what you sell, how-to content, emojis, GIFs, and so on. Reply to your followers’ questions and don’t forget to include CTAs. After all, you want to convert your social media followers into loyal customers, so keep this in mind when creating your content strategy and don’t forget to follow content trends.

    Learn more about this in our Social Media Engagement Guide.

    Invest in Social Media Advertising

    When it comes to social media advertising one thing is certain – it works! As opposed to traditional advertising, marketing your brand on social media allows you to present your ads in front of your specific audience and those most likely to buy your product via targeting. This is why social media advertising is so effective and you should use it to your advantage. Plus it’s affordable and you can spend as low as $1 for a Facebook ad.

    Check out our How to Advertise on Facebook 2019 Guide and How to Advertise on Instagram 2019 Guide to learn more.

    Re-share Your Posts

    Re-sharing your posts on your social media platforms can drastically improve your visibility and engagement. You’ll get more traffic to your eCommerce site so more people will see your products, you’ll increase your content’s ROI, and it’ll cost you nothing.

    Are you interested in re-sharing your content but are afraid of spamming or you simply don’t have the time? No worries, Amplifr can do this job perfectly. Besides creating a content calendar and schedule your posts, you can also build an evergreen content strategy by doing absolutely nothing.

    Amplifr’s Evergreen Scheduling will run its algorithm, pick the best post, and publish it at the best posting time when most of your audience is online.

    How great does this sound?

    Sign up to Amplifr to create a content calendar, schedule your posts, and get extra traffic and engagement with Evergreen Scheduling.

    Create Automated Bots

    Automated bots or chatbots are basically digital personal assistants that are here to stay. They can help you drive more sales by improving your customer experience and acting as customer service virtual agents. Your customers and potential customers will get their questions answered in a matter of seconds at any time of day, but can also use them to make orders, book tickets, and so on.

    Learn more about Social Media Chatbots and how to use them in 2019 in our guide.

    Promote More Low-Cost Products

    One thing to keep in mind when using social media to sell products is that low-cost products sell better. The explanation for this is quite simple, actually. The initial purpose for people to spend time on social media is not to shop, but to be entertained – look at their friends’ photos and videos, read content of value, watch Stories, and so on. So, when someone sees $100 worth product, no matter how much they need it they won’t be inclined to buy it. But when they see something they like that’s $20 or $30, the chance for them to make an order increases dramatically.

    How to Sell on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

    Selling on Facebook

    Facebook is an amazing platform for promoting your eCommerce business that’s just as good for selling your products. If you think otherwise – think again! With their 2 billion users, most of who are active every single day, you can target and reach any custom audience you want. All you need to do is create and manage a Facebook Shop/Store Page for your business and market it – it’s that simple.

    Mainly, there are 2 ways in which you can use Facebook to drive sales. The first is to have an existing place where showcase and sell your products, like an eCommerce website for example. Then you can either manually link your products to the Facebook Shop Page or do this process automatically. The automation is much easier if you use Shopify or WordPress since there are plugins that can help you set up and connect your eCommerce website to your Facebook Store.

    The other way is to create a Facebook Shop Page (all you need is a Facebook account and a business Page) and directly list your products there. You can start selling right after you put your products and set your payment methods. Configuring the Shop Page is fairly simple and straightforward, so if you don’t have a separate eCommerce website, this is the easiest way to start selling on Facebook.

    On top of creating a Facebook Shop Page within your Facebook business Page, make sure to publish creative, interesting, and engaging posts, pictures, and videos to improve your engagement.

    Selling on Instagram

    While Instagram may not be the best social media platform for making direct sales, it’s perfect for building brand awareness. This visual platform is a great place for targeting younger audiences considering its huge user base of 500 million monthly active users, more than 70% of who are under 35 years old.

    If your business is in the media, fashion, or the beauty industry and you sell products such as cosmetics, apparel, or accessories – Instagram is where you want to showcase and sell your products. That being said, brands from other industries advertise and sell successfully on Instagram as well, so as long as you can produce high-quality visuals and have a story to tell, give this platform a chance.

    You can promote your products with the “basic” ad formats such as Story, Photo, or Video ads. Carousel ads give you the option to showcase multiple products in one ad that users see by swiping, while Collection ads might be the best ad format for eCommerce businesses since users can make instant purchases without leaving the platform.

    There are different Call-to-Action buttons for each ad type you can choose from, like contact us, apply now, download, learn more, purchase (for Collection ads), and so on. So, which ad format to choose? What objective will bring you the best results?

    Check out our 2019 Guide to Instagram Ads to learn all you need to know about advertising on Instagram.

    Selling on Twitter

    A few years ago Twitter experimented with their version of the “Buy now” button with the hope to give their users a chance to buy products directly on their platform. Just like Facebook and Instagram, Twitter launched this button with one goal in mind – to drive more sales and let their users shop without leaving the platform. Unfortunately, this idea wasn’t very successful so they eventually had to remove it.

    Despite the “Buy now” button’s failure, Twitter is a great platform for selling products and advertising your eCommerce business, if this is where your target audience hangs, of course. You can create and increase awareness of your products, engage with your followers and customers, keep an eye on the competition, and drive more sales. After all, around 60% of Twitter users are more likely to recommend or purchase a product after following the brand on the platform.

    You can promote your products with paid targeted ads and by collaborating with influencers.

    Twitter advertising includes promoted tweets, promoted accounts, promoted trends, promoted videos, Twitter Amplify, and mobile app promotion, so if you want to know more check out How to Use Twitter for Business.

    When it comes to working with influencers, we’ve got three articles that can help you find the right influencers for your brand and get you started.

    Selling on Pinterest

    With its 250 million users, more than half of who are in the US, Pinterest can be a great platform for promoting and selling your products if your audience is mostly US-based.

    Plenty of studies and statistics show Pinterest’s potential for advertising and selling products. One study shows that 50% of Pinterest users buy directly on the platform by using the “Buy it” button, while that percentage for Instagram and Facebook is around 4 times lower, so don’t underestimate Pinterest’s power when it comes to selling your goods.

    You can do it by adding buyable pins with buttons such as “Buy it” or “Add to bag”, as well as a by using various rich pins. With product pins you can showcase the goods you want to sell so that Pinterest users are always in the know when it comes to updating the pricing, availability, and description in real time.

    You can also create a Pinterest advertising campaign and use the promoted pins this platform offers. Your campaign’s goal can be to drive traffic to your website, bring awareness to your brand, or get higher engagement and you can target specific users based on their geographical location, interests, and so on.

    Examples of Successful Social Media E-Commerce Campaigns

    Dollar Shave Club

    The Dollar Shave Club is a company that sells razors online. Their subscription model is unique on its own, but their social media posts are also quite interesting. They promote their brand by using marketing campaigns where they engage with their social media followers.

    This company that simply tries to sell you razors is quite popular for their funny and sometimes educational posts. They oftentimes use their hashtag #DSCdebates as they post polls to attract their followers’ attention and boost their post’s engagement by asking weirdly interesting questions.

    One example of such poll is when they asked men whether they pee sitting down or standing up after waking up in the middle of the night. They also post hilarious visual and educational photos which are then shared and liked by their users.

    The Dollar Shave Club’s social media campaign strategy in one sentence? Attracting followers and boosting their engagement by posting educational content that’s oftentimes funny, as well as asking quite interesting questions that people are naturally curious about.

    Go-To Skincare

    Go-To is a skincare brand that offers natural and cruelty-free products to its customers. This skincare business is mostly active on Instagram which is a great choice considering it’s the most visual social media platform and the place where their target audience is mostly active.

    Known for their cool packaging and funny copywriting, Go-To actively engages with its customers on social media and frequently asks questions to gather information of what exactly their followers want. By doing this, they’ve come to an idea to create a smaller version of their most popular products and sell them as a limited edition travel packages.

    This campaign was very well received on their Instagram and Go-To even brought more attention to their brand with their clever tiny products.

    In one sentence, Go-To is creating successful social media campaigns by introducing weirdly attractive products and using funny copywriting on their images and posts.

    TOMS

    TOMS is the perfect example of a business that’s bringing customers based on an emotional connection and feeling of empathy towards other people. This is a popular apparel company that became famous for selling shoes. But selling shoes is a quite saturated market, so they’ve created a way to distinguish themselves from other brands by donating a pair of shoes with every single purchase to people in need.

    Emotional advertising campaigns, whether on social media or outside of it, have higher chances for success when compared to any other marketing campaign type. When you make people feel something for other human beings, you’re not only differentiating yourself from other brands, but you’re also increasing your chances of making a sale.

    TOMS social media campaign strategy in one sentence? Creating emotional posts which drive sales, as well as higher engagement, but also bringing awareness for humanitarian causes.

    Everlane

    Everlane is a clothing retailer that is mainly active online. They are fairly popular on Instagram, having more than 700.000 followers. They are very proud of their transparency, in addition to being honest with their followers.

    One example of their e-commerce social media campaign happened in the beginning of 2019 when they revealed two new products – jeans and a jacket. They were in two different colors, only available in super limited quantities of around 300 items. But the catch was that those items were first revealed to their email subscribers, and only after some time Everlane published their new jeans and jacket to their social media followers.

    Everlanes social media strategy in this campaign was to create that strange feeling called FOMO (fear of missing out), so that as an effect their fans start to follow what their company has to offer more closely.

    ASOS

    ASOS is an online clothing and beauty retailer mainly focused on younger people. They are a great example of using user-generated content to promote their brand and generate sales.

    A few years ago ASOS created the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, where they asked people to share pictures where they wearASOS products. With more than 1 million posts on Instagram, this social media campaign was proved to be successful. So successful, in fact, that it’s active even today.

    Thanks to their great social media strategies and campaigns, now ASOS has 8 million followers on Instagram and they’ve established themselves as one of the most popular online clothing retailers. Their strategy in one short sentence would be: use your followers to generate content, boost engagement, and gather more followers.

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